Title: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Issues #4
Author: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Hendry Praseyta
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Superhero
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Today on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, after taking control of the Dragon Zord, Scorpina sets her sights on Angel Grove in the hopes of charging the Chaos Crystal by order of her Empress. The rangers jump into action, but sadly due to Tommy’s hallucinations, he is told to stay put. However, the Green Ranger has never been one to stay on the sidelines, especially when he can do something about it and save his friends. Read it now, in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Issue #4!
Throughout the series, writer Kyle Higgins has shown a tremendous care and knowledge for the franchise as his story maintains the spirit of Power Rangers, while still trying something new. This issue is both exciting in regards to its giant robot-filled action, which is what the franchise is best known for, in addition to the character conflict and drama. While there is a great deal of action going on, everything is paced well enough to follow, and the scenes are given enough time in order for readers to digest them. For example, as the rangers fend off Scoprina and some of Rita’s monsters, Tommy has a highlight moment where he confronts his insecurities in the form of hallucinations of Rita. Readers will be able to enjoy the battle and at the same time are able to sympathize with Tommy, as well as cheer for him as he awesomely takes back the Dragon Zord.
In a sense, the comic almost feels similar in tone to the Avengers, the heroes fight a threat, great action occurs, it may seem like a victory, however, they are played for fools, the team starts arguing, which only helps the villains, and it leads to further problems. This is, indeed, interesting to see considering that rarely do Rita’s plans ever result in a hollow victory for the Rangers; the city was saved, however, this fight still lead to conflict between the Rangers and Rita getting what she wanted.
The ending, while sudden and questionable, is still shocking and suspenseful. The reveal of the Chaos Crystal’s true purpose in the story does feel in tone with the original Power Rangers series, especially concerning magical plot devices. Normally, in the show, when a magical item comes into play in any given episode, the audience is given a vague description of its importance, used once, and then never heard from again, although, unlike the show the use of the crystal has consequences and a big one at that. Thanks to the action and the team drama, the ending does entice a lot of emotion, thus making the ending all the more dramatic. The ending is best saved for those who have not read the comic, but needless to say is that it is surprising and will entice readers to pick up the next issue.
While Tommy is the focus of the series, it has afforded the characters an opportunity to shine. A big contrast from the show is the amount of tension and drama slowly building amongst the team concerning Tommy. The team rarely, if ever, fought with one another and to see them arguing is rather surprising.
It is sad to see Jason and Zack be this harsh to Tommy, especially after he saved them all, but their concerns are understandable and the team’s mistrust of their Green Ranger does not diminish their character that much. Neither Tommy nor the other Rangers are wrong to being frustrated as they have their reasons. Jason gave a direct order to Tommy to stay put after learning he was mentally unstable and, even though, Tommy saved everyone, he still disregarded a direct order. It is a tense scene to read, but it is believable that Jason would be frustrated with Tommy, especially when Jason has been the most leveled headed, patient, and fair in this situation. The comic portrays this conflict and mistrusts as less of detrimental flaws with the rangers but more as an extension of their characters of how the rangers handle things and this development does help to humanize the characters a bit more.
While Tommy did have his moment where he briefly overcame his paranoia, it is also shown that some of it still lingers in the end, and it shows that he still cannot trust what he sees. Readers might feel the need to sympathize with Tommy, however, in addition to the facts laid against him by his team leader, one line near the end from Tommy does reassure that he still has a lingering sense of paranoia.
The only ranger that might seem out of character when the team is fighting is Zack considering that he was always seen as the laid-back, party guy of the team. Fans would not consider him to be this skeptical towards Tommy, or even harshly uncalled for, especially with his “Evil Green Ranger” remark. It would have been befitting if either Billy or Trini to be skeptical since they are the more analytical ones of the group, and Zack pestering Tommy only seems plausible due to him being Jason’s best friend.
The inking here is heavier than previous issues, however, it can be attributed to the fact that the comic takes place at night. It is forgivable considering that the backgrounds and the action pieces can still be seen clearly to a degree of detail.
Last issue, the Dragon Zord shined in terms of artwork, but in addition to its Godzilla-like rampage, the other Zords got a chance to look amazing as well. Among the best moments in the issue include, the dragon Zord on a rampage, the individual Zords fighting monsters, which rarely happened in the show, Tommy breaking into the Dragonzord by crashing into the cockpit, and the Megazord battle, all of which really highlight how the series can pull off more outstanding battle scenes and scenery when not constricted by Japanese stock footage, unlike the show.
Several sequences feel as if they were lifted right from the show, these moments include iconic details such as, the morphing sequence, Jason calling on the Zords and initiating Megazord transformation, Rita nagging Finster about her new monster, the Megazord announcing “Megazord Activated,” summoning the Mega Power Sword, and of course, the monster fight, but this time with three monsters. This comic is even more of a visual treat for fans of the original TV series than the last issue, with a lot of wonderful nods to the show.
With great nods to the original show, great action pieces, which include several monsters and a rampaging Dragon Zords, Tommy trying to face his paranoia and insecurities, and some tense character conflicts never seen before by the original cast, this entertaining issue really highlights how Kyle Higgins cares for the first team of Rangers while doing something new and interesting.
Rangers at odds
Stopped one crisis, leading into another
Tensions and action are on par and on high during this month’s issue. The battle feels as though it was lifted from the show, while at the same time, looking amazing and doing things normally not seen on Power Rangers. Speaking of things not seen before on the show, the team arguing is sad, but it does flesh out the character dynamic of the rangers and it shows that even the best of teams fight, but it does not diminish who they are. Hopefully they can consolidate themselves before it’s too late, although that may already be the case given the ending.
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